Labor Day is just around the corner, marking the traditional start of a new school year.  The Orcas Island School District is ready to launch, but this year will be like no other.  After months of preparing a plan for in-person classes, the district received the recommendation from the County Health Officer, to start the school year with remote learning. This was a considered recommendation due to the continued COVID cases being reported both locally and across the country. The District is now prepared to start with distance learning and instituting plans to ensure digital access for all students.

The District is also keenly aware of the need for social and emotional engagement of children. And, it is aware of the hardship distance learning creates for working families.  To that end, it is coordinating with Camp Orkila, and the Y Staff, to provide one day per week for k-5 students at the Camp. On these days, Y Staff will provide outdoor learning, enrichment programming, and a weekly break from screens and home. A fantastic respite for children and parents alike!

This innovative program, however, is an expense for which the District had not budgeted. The Orcas Island Education Foundation (OIEF) and the Community Foundation (OICF) are partnering to help bridge the gap and support our students and educators. Our goal is to raise $150,000 in the coming weeks to supplement family support and fund the outdoor learning program.

Fortunately, the Seattle Foundation’s “All In Washington” matching campaign is still rolling.  If you donate through the OICF Community Emergency Response fund and note All In WA/OISD’ in the recognition field, or mail a check to PO Box 1496, Eastsound, WA 98279, your gift will be eligible for a match.  (We will not know the match percentage until later, but we believe it will be at least 50%).  If you are interested in donating stock, please contact the Community Foundation, 376-6423, for transfer information.

Thanks for your support. It makes a great difference for our kids, our teachers, and our community.

Stay well,